One way to get out of your own way, create intentions, and relax deeper than you ever thought possible
Meditation…. What even is it? How does one ‘do it?’ Well, for those of us who are pretty sure they’re the one person that just can’t meditate, there may be a very relaxing solution. Yoga Nidra is a practice of yoga that focuses specifically on putting you in a state where you are better able to clear your mind of the clutter, solve problems, and create intentions for your life.
Also known as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness, yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that is rapidly gaining popularity. Studies have shown that Yoga Nidra may help with insomnia, anxiety, depression, addiction, and chronic pain. In 2006, the Department of Defense conducted research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the effectiveness of Yoga Nidra on soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. This led to the integration of Yoga Nidra into weekly treatment programs for soldiers in several VA facilities across the country.
The neat thing is, you don’t have to meditate or be a ‘yogi’ to do Yoga Nidra.
How does this all work? During a typical yoga Nidra class, the instructor will have you lying in a comfortable position. That’s right, there’s no downward dog or planks in this yoga experience! Yoga Nidra usually lasts 20-45 minutes, allowing for the body and mind to really sink into the practice. The teacher will then guide you through certain stages. You start by developing an intention for your life and for the practice. Then you learn to focus your awareness on your breath, bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Throughout, you are encouraged to tap into an underlying sense of peace that is always present, and to cultivate an ability to observe and welcome whatever is present without becoming involved.
Unlike other forms of meditation, in which you focus on a mantra or on your breath, Yoga Nidra asks you simply to let go. If you find most forms of meditation are intimidating and you’re just sitting there, wondering if you’re ‘doing it right,’ while still overwhelmed with all the thoughts racing in your head…..Yoga Nidra might be just the trick for you.
There are some awesome apps popping up to give you your yoga nidra fix. THIS one is one my clients are trying and liking. In my opinion, nothing beats an in-person guided yoga nidra session. We may be doing just that at the next workshop.... :)